Resurgence of Taliban, Al-Qaeda a real challenge: Nirupama

Describing the resurgence of Taliban and Al-Qaeda as ''real challenge'', India on Wednesday asked the international community to put ''effective pressure'' on Pakistan to implement its commitment to deal with terror groups in its territory, failing which the region could be catapulted into spiral of violence.

"Terrorism remains essential challenge to the regional security.....There is a real challenge posed by the resurgence of Taliban and Al-Qaeda. There is a need for the international community to re-commit its assistance to Afghanistan.....

"There is a growing consensus that the increase in terror activities in Afghanistan is linked to the support available in the contiguous areas," Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said while delivering a keynote address at a conference on South Asia-2020.

Emphasising the need for the international community to "put effective pressure on Pakistan to implement its stated commitment to deal with terror groups within its territory or else the past eight years in Afghanistan will be wiped-out," she said "failure to act effectively runs the risk of catapulting the region into spiral of violence".

She also rubbished Pakistan's claim of seizing India-made arms from the Taliban stronghold of South Waziristan, saying there was no "factual basis" for these reports.

Rao also described the recent incidents of violence in the neighbourhood as the "stark reminders" for those fostering or bargaining with terrorist elements that they can also not be left out from the consequences.

India has time and again conveyed to Pakistan that it was interested in having meaningful discussions with it but it was not possible unless they deal with the terror elements there and not allow them to indulge in anti-India activities, she said.

"Our position is very clear....We want stable and peaceful Pakistan and we will work consistently towards that," the Foreign Secretary said.

Rao said it was one of the primary goals of the country was to have a peaceful and stable neighbourhood.

Giving details of India's relations with other South Asian countries, she said the country has always been in the forefront to provide assistance for development to its neighbours and believed in better connectivity with them at every level.

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